Google and Microsoft in a Spat

microsoft in newsgoogle in newsGoogle and Microsoft are quarreling again, only this time, its not behind closed doors.  This fight has been clear for everyone to see–on the Twitter-verse, where all opinions are made and heard.

Google’s SVP and Chief Legal Officer, David Drummond in a recent blog post made his disgust of Google rivals public with a claim that companies are joining forces to take down Google with “bogus patents”.  It is Mr. Drummond’s belief that they are purposely attempting to take out Android.  One Google rival that has been singled out is Microsoft.

David Drummond suggested that Microsoft teamed up with Apple to buy Novell’s old patents, claiming that they did so to spite Google.

Microsoft responded quickly to that claim with a statement of their own.  On Twitter, Brad Smith, Microsoft General Counsel tweeted, “Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no”.

There is a clear disagreement here.  One side of the discussion believes they are getting hoodwinked, while the other believes the opposite.  In other words, Google is trying to play the victim in all of this and Microsoft won’t let them get away with it.


Microsoft’s Brad Smith is making the argument that Google has been frequently invited to partake in various business deals, and that the comment by Mr. Drummond is not based in reality. That it is some sort of political ploy, some form of aggrandizement to make it seem that there is some sort violation of business ethics.

To further Microsoft’s argument, Frank Shaw, the computer company’s Head of Communications tweeted a copy of an email sent from a Google SVP and General Counsel, Kent Walker, to Brad Smith stating,

Brad –

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you — I came down with a 24-hour bug on the way back from San Antonio. After talking with people here, it sounds as though for various reasons a joint bid wouldn’t be advisable for us on this one. But I appreciate your flagging it, and we’re open to discussing other similar opportunities in the future.

I hope the rest of your travels go well, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

– Kent

It is clear that Microsoft has provided a practical side to the argument.  But as far as full disclosure is around, we will never know who is in the right here.  This small tweet battle and email presentation could be 1/100th of what is actually going on.  Google may in fact be right.  Who knows?  What is known is that there bad taste in the mouths of several high level executives of rival companies.  One should realize that both sides may have a little truth to what they are arguing.       



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